Although violent crime is on the decline nationwide, there are still cities that suffer from crippling crime statistics. These metropolitan areas are home to violent carjackers, murderers, rapists and thieves. Not only are they dangerous for the citizens that live there, they pose a particular problem for the police officers that struggle to maintain order. Their rankings are based on the total number of violent crimes in a year, the number of police officer injuries and fatalities and the number of repeat offenders. The five most dangerous cities for police officers have the highest crime rates and are a powder keg for violence.
#5. Memphis, Tennessee
Crippled with double-digit unemployment and high rates of poverty, Memphis has been the scene of many violent crimes in the past few years. With a population of just over 600,000, there are 15 violent crimes for every 1,000 citizens. The police force struggles to keep up, and with 117 murders in 2011, they have been pushed to the maximum. Budget cuts have forced the struggling city to lay off a huge chunk of its police force, only worsening the problem.
#4. Oakland, California
Saddled with dubious distinction of being first in motor vehicle theft and robbery in the country, Oakland is riddled with violent crime. This city just outside of Los Angeles is small, with a population of less than 400,000. It is, however, big on crime. Oakland’s police forces has been bombarded with complaints about everything from carjackings to break-ins. With 104 murders in 2011, Oakland’s police force operates in a volatile environment of violent crime.
#3. St. Louis, Missouri
Unable to shed its image as a high-crime city, St. Louis’ crime statistics only continue to rise. This city of just over 300,000 is home to thousands of violent criminals. St. Louis tops the list in aggravated assault, and with 113 murders in 2011, the problem is only escalating. To further complicate the situation, the city has cut over 100 police officers, leading to an uptick in crime of all types.
#2. Camden, New Jersey
In the shadows of nearby Philadelphia, Camden has consistently held its place on the list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in America. It leads the charge in violent felonies, and suffers from crime at a rate of five times the national average. The city of Camden lost its police force in 2012 due to budget cuts, leaving the state of New Jersey to take over the gargantuan task of public safety. Camden’s crime woes are crippling the county’s budget and putting a strain on county resources. This has lead to fewer police on the street, a dangerous situation for police officers serving the city.
#1. Detroit, Michigan
With nearly half of Detroit’s residents living in poverty, Detroit has been dubbed America’s most dangerous city year after year. Suffering from record unemployment, a rapidly declining population and limited resources, Detroit remains an extremely dangerous city for police officers. Gang violence punctuates the area, and despite special task forces mobilized to stop the problem, the shootings and murders continue. Add into the mix Detroit’s problem of vacant homes and abandoned buildings and you have a major police headache. Detroit, like many other major cities, is taking the effects of the recession particularly hard. With budget cuts taking hundreds of officers off the street, the problem is only getting worse. As it has for many years, Detroit tops the list of the most dangerous cities for police officers.
The five most dangerous cities for police officers are often crippled by shrinking budgets and growing poverty. A mix of few resources and high unemployment characterize the five most dangerous cities for police officers.
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Darwin Green contributed to creating the Top Online Criminal Justice Schools for others seeking to further their education in criminal justice to advance their careers.